Cass Lake-Bena starts season with two straight victories
CASS LAKE — The Panthers started the fall with a bang as they defeated Red Lake County Central and Northome-Kelliher by 3-1 scores. Today they will shoot for their third consecutive victory when they head to Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
“This year’s team has a great deal of potential,” said CL-B coach LeAnn Sattler. “We have already done things that we weren’t able to do last year and we have a very solid middle block.”
In the 23-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-20 win over RLCC sophomore Tia Dahmen had 12 kills and sophomore Elizabeth Pemberton six. Senior Brandi Dahmen dished 23 assists and Pemberton and Tia Dahmen combined for five blocks.
Junior Miranda Richards had 15 digs and senior Janelle Peacock 12.
After dropping the first set to N-K 8-25 the Panthers claimed the next three games, all by a 25-22 score.
Peacock had 10 kills and Pemberton nine. Brandi Dahmen contributed 23 assists while Peacock finished with 11 digs and Richards 10.
Pemberton also stuffed four shots.
Peacock is Cass Lake-Bena’s returning kills leader. Also back are Brandi Dahmen, Tia Dahmen, Tifani Ellis, Richards and Sheila DeVault.
“Among the others looking to contribute this year are Pemberton, Alexa Brunelle, Danica Staples, Katie Howard and Julia Pacheco,” Sattler said.
“Right now we’re getting used to playing with a couple of new people and the speed of the varsity game,” the coach said. “We are working out the jitters and trying to find our confidence. I am very happy with where we are right now and know that we can build ourselves up even more
“I expect to see very good things from this team.”
The Warriors volleyball team will be short on numbers this year as seven players are listed on the varsity roster.
Among them are senior right side hitter Sara Seki, junior setters Tatianna McClain and Alicia Lusser plus junior outside hitter Seleasha Roy.
Completing the early-season roster are freshmen Samantha Roy (right side hitter) and Grace White (setter) plus eighth grader Alexis Desjarlait (setter).
Red Lake began its season Tuesday at Laporte and today it visits Indus. The home opener is Sept. 12 against Cass Lake-Bena.
Working as a team is a requirement for any successful volleyball program and Bagley coach Kristi Rusten believes that the Flyers are headed toward a good season.
“This year our program’s focus is working together as a team,” she said. “I believe that the team bonding we have created this preseason will be one of our major strengths and will help us to be successful.”
The Flyers began their campaign Tuesday at home against Blackduck and today they will travel to Clearbrook-Gonvick. On Saturday Bagley will participate in a tournament hosted by Ada.
“Our goals this season are to play and communicate as a team every game,” Rusten said. “We are striving to compete with every team we play, either coming out with a win or taking them to five games.”
Leading the way this fall will be returning senior letterwinners Kari Skersick, Bailey Dukek, Jaysha Pemberton and Emily Dukek plus junior letterwinners Riley Thoma and Sierrah Kaiser.
Among those also expected to battle for extended playing time are Courtney Fultz, Camille Merschman and Sara Holm.
“We have many girls who have the potential to step up as leaders and we are waiting to see who is going to emerge,” Rusten said. “There may be a different player stepping up each game this year. Our success will be determined by how well we play as a team.
“We need to continue working on hitting the floor and not letting a ball touch the court without one of our players getting after it,” the coach continued. “We are also continuing to work on our block, to consistently have strong defense at the net.”
Bagley’s next home appearance will be Sept. 17 against Mahnomen.
The Wildcats began the fall on a positive note as they blanked Bigfork 25-20, 25-17, 25-22 and Remer 25-17, 25-22, 26-24.
Laporte hosted Red Lake Tuesday and will welcome Northome-Kelliher today. On Tuesday they will visit Blackduck.
Laporte is led by seniors Mikaela Kloehn, Talia Molash, Kimberli Corson, Jacey Hegg and Kara Shadrick. The juniors include Courtney Holland, Neka Davis and Madisson Larson while Savannah Day is among the sophomores.
The Bears dropped their first two matches, losing 25-4, 25-14, 22-25, 25-14 at home to Blackduck and falling 25-12, 25-8, 25-10 at Win-E-Mac.
On Tuesday C-G visited Northome-Kelliher and today it will host Bagley.
Clearbrook-Gonvick’s roster includes seniors Esther Kjolhaug, Brittany Reed, Ashley Groshong, Monica Reichert, Maisie Gunning Hayley Reichert, Kasey Hjort and Carly Bergman. The juniors include Rachel Gray, Moriah Johnson and Lauren McIntosh.